Stephen J. McKinney, Honor Hania and Robert J. Hill
Pope Francis has made it one of the aims of his pontificate to challenge slavery. This article discusses two responses to the challenge of contemporary slavery. First, we explore a scriptural response (Matthew 5.21-48 and the Decalogue) and second, the response from Catholic Social Teaching. Stephen J. McKinney and Honor Hania are from the University of Glasgow, Robert J. Hill is parish priest of
St Matthew’s, Bishopbriggs.
In a previous article in The Pastoral Review (September-October 2014)we explored the phenomenon and disturbing frequency of slavery in the contemporary world. We were prompted by the public statements of Pope Francis who has consistently taken a strong stance against slavery since he was in post as the Archbishop of Buenos Aires. We stated that the response of Catholic Social Teaching is one of abhorrence and condemnation but the scriptural attitude towards slavery was ambivalent. We concluded by stating that the inclusive vision of early Christianity effectively undermined slavery and also that, despite the ambivalence of scripture on this topic, a basis for opposition to slavery could be discerned in the Old and New Testaments.